Aftermath


I wrote the following in the aftermath of the Queensland floods that began in December 2010, and continued into January 2011. For four years my husband and I lived in an apartment on the banks of the Brisbane River while he worked on a project in Queensland.
 
As I watched the television coverage from my Melbourne home I saw Riverwalk, a pathway I’d frequently traversed, turn into debris. My mind became inundated with the floods of life, and the consequences of disaster.
 
Archaeology 1
 
first a pickaxe to break through the crust
years hard baked in the drought of denial
then the shovel
push
lift
swing
empty
depth brings change to the colour and texture
of the growing mound beside the gaping hole
along with fragments of things long broken
 
exhausting unrelenting slog
begun on the wings of possibility
excavation slows
doubt grows
 
is the digging all there is?
 
Archaeology 2
 
in the heat of summer
rains come
unrelenting
roads become rivers
debris flowing like yachts under sail 
Riverwalk pathway broken away
floating down the waterway it was built to enhance
 
waters flood the excavation
no power for pumps
bucket replaces shovel
lower
lift
turn
tip
when today’s tragedy collides
with the search for the skeletons of wounded truth
old bones grow flesh
 
tendons tauten
claws form
reaching upwards
breaking the surface of muddy water
 
digging is not all there is
 
Tricia 2/2011
 

About triciabertram

I have written all my life. Writing helps me to make sense of a world I often don’t understand. Poetry is my supreme solace, closely followed by literature and music. When my son ended his life in 1999 I embarked on the most difficult journey of my life, my grief journey. To survive in this unknown, harsh landscape I had to write. It was for me, the only way I could even begin to move forward. Then in 2009 my darling husband died suddenly and so my journey continues. I write about other issues but because of my life experience, grief and death are continuing themes in my writing life. In our culture I believe there is a fear of death, an inability to accept the inevitability of our mortality, and this creates enormous difficulties for the bereaved and those around them. I have begun this blog in the hope I will create a small ripple in the pond of fear that is currently drowning the reality of death and grief. I will continue to skim the stones of my truth, watch them bounce, and see how many ripples I can make.

Posted on December 16, 2011, in Poems and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Very well written. I have to say I found the ending a little chilling. Thanks for posting.

  2. Joe the ending caught me by surprise, but it is what it is.

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